06/09/2011 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

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All those yoghurt weaving hand wringers who thought that the


summer riots were caused by austerity and social failure were


wrong were they. The Justice Secretary revealed three quarters


of the rioters arrested are prior convictions, a feral underclass. If


he's right most of them are graduates of a criminal justice


system that has no idea how to rehabilitate their customers. The


police minister and the former Lord Chancellor are here. James Murdoch


pleaded ignorance to the House of Commons, that he didn't know about


the widespread phone hacking going on at the News of the World. Enter


his company lawyer with this unhelpable intervention. Listen, it


was the reason - unhelpful intervention. Listen, it was the


reason we had to settle the case. In order to settle the case we had


to explain the case to Mr Murdoch and get his authority to settle.


that game over for James Murdoch's career, or can his media


organisation shrug off a few poor reviews at Westminster. His


father's biographer, along with one of his inquisitors and a News Corp


shareholder. And we name the six towns in Britain with the most


boarded up shops on the high street. Can they be saved by a TV celebrity,


heading a Government mission. Shop Tsar Mary Portas has been


called in as the high street cries out for a sexy new make-over, and


ministers, as far as they can see, don't have a thing to wear.


The riots which sent such a shock through Britain last month, were


largely the work of criminals, the words of the Justice Secretary


today echoed the Prime Minister, but at another level, his


disclosure that three out of every four adults charged, already had a


criminal conviction, raises big questions about what we do with


people found guilty of crimes. Keneth Clarke describes the record


of the penal system as "straight forwardly dreadful", and claims to


be able to fix it. But how? As the CCTV footage is replayed,


and more suspects identified and arrested, a fuller picture is


emerging of those responsible for last month's disorder. In London


there have been more than 2,000 arrests. Three quarters of those


charged in connection with the riots had criminal convictions. So


the opportunistic rioting and looting which police admitted today


they were unprepared for, was largely the doing of what the


Justice Secretary called "a feral underclass".


Right after the rioters swept through this street in Hackney, I


came down here, and remember people's shock at the speed and


violence of the rampage. Now that we know that most of those


responsible had previous convictions it raises new questions.


Not just why did the riots happen, but why is it that people who have


broken the law and been punished are apparently so willing to


reoffend. Keneth Clarke, whose breezy


attempts to cut prison sentence, infuriated many in his party,


borrowed language they might applaud to condemn the rioters'


outrageous behaviour. But he used it to argue again that prison isn't


working. The idea that the length of a sentence is going to solve the


problem is simplistic nonsense, and good the system worked t does give


the punishment the public want to see, why doesn't that punishment do


more good, we don't want them coming back again.


There were minor disturbances at Westminster today, as London's


mayor arrived to help MPs unpick what caused the trouble. Boris


Johnson supported Mr Clarke's call for more adequate punishments that


help offenders turn their lives around. If you arrest such a huge


number of people, as we have, and you put them into the criminal


justice system, you cannot simply abandon them there. The Government


is holding an official inquiry, but in the meantime, MPs heard from the


Met's Acting Commissioner, that, in the early phases of the disorder,


mistakes had been made. Sometimes you suddenly realise how thin the


blue line is, when you are confronted with such scale of


disorder over such a large area. But the key for us, in terms of


stragically getting under control, is crime has to have consequences.


The arrest of the offenders had to be done swiftly and the courts had


to respond quickly, that was the key we put into place, that had a


significant impact in terms of the lack of repeat we then saw. But the


effectiveness of what happens after arrest and prosecution is under


scrutiny. While Ministry of Justice figures show the number of crimes


committed by reoffenders is falling, campaigners say this doesn't tell


the full story. Reoffending rates are staggeringly high, and have


been for a very long time. That points us towards the fact that the


criminal justice system should be doing better at focusing on that


kind of work with offenders, seeking to reduce reoffending at a


better rate than it currently does and protecting society from future


victims being created, we are not doing that at the moment.


police say the public are helping them to identify more suspected


rioters. So far 1500 have appeared in court. But the poor outcomes for


those qual slowed up by the criminal justice system, are -


swallowed up by the criminal justice are not doing enough to


stop them getting there in the first place, particularly those


drawn towards crime. We heard 19% of those charged in London had


links to gangs, and 21% were aged under 18. At Eastside Academy in


London's East End, they have a system of mentoring black boys, it


has led to a drive to recruit black men to help. It was launched at the


time of the riots, prove detentionly says its founder.


Something that can be effective for the child at the right time, if you


take the academy, what we found, in our experience, where you intervene


early and effectively and decisively, you can make a


difference. Why? Because the boys are shown an alternative, and they


are given an opportunity to lift their eyes beyond their current


circumstances and see a different way.


The Met have more than 20,000 hours of CCTV film still to wade through.


More suspects will be marched into court. The fact so many of them


have a criminal record already means they won't be alone in the


dock. So will the system that put them


there. With us now the criminal justice


minister, Nick Herbert and Lord Fawkes, former Lord Chancellor and


a Labour Party justice spokesman. Nick Herbert, what do you conclude


from the fact that three quarters of those charged had a criminal


record? That the criminal justice system has been failing. That it


has not delivered the message that offending should have consequence,


that a system that, sure, should punish people, should incapacitate


them, actually hasn't done what it also needs to do, which is


rehabilitate them, and prevent them from reoffending. It should make us


think very hard about the fact that we are processing tens of thousands


of offenders every year, but the very large majority of them are


going on to reoffend in a very short space of time. We have to


address that. This was a sample of 2,000 people? We know the


reoffending rates are high any way. But in this particular case, the


so-called feral, criminal underclass, was a sample of 2,000


adults, of whom roughly three quarters had criminal records. We


are talking about a feral criminal underclass of 1500 people? That is


the plain fact that 75% of them had criminal conviction, and half of


adult offenders leaving prison reoffend again within a year. We


know the system is fail to go prevent that reoffending, that is


why we have to go reform prisons to make them places of work rather


than idleness. We have to look at the supervision and support we are


giving offenders after they leave prison. It is why we have to deal


with drugs in prison, and why we have to have far more effective


community sentences. I would agree with many of those things, the idea


it is the failure of the criminal justice system, on the basis of the


figures produced by the Ministry of Justice today is utter nonsense.


You have 77% of less than 1600 people described as having previous


convictions or cautions, did they go to prison, were they fined for


drunken driving. What on earth are you believing that the criminal


justice system could do to stop it. What will your Government do, they


have the highest prison population, and therefore, even less money to


do anything about it? Well, firstly I think, that we should continue


with our programme of radical reform of prisons. In particular,


ideas like paying for effective rehabilitation, which the previous


Government failed to deliver. reduce the reoffending rates. You


are talking in fantasy land. need a criminal justice system that


sends clear signals both in terms of how swift justice is, and how


effective it is, that offending always has consequences. We have


failed to do in the past. If you look at the time that is taken


normally before you put offenders before a Magistrates' Court and


bring a conclusion, it is 156 days, in this case it was swift and sends


an important signal to offenders. We think there are very significant


reforms to drive through, including the use of technology in courts and


video links. That wouldn't have stopped the riots, would it? That


will make justice more swift and sure. That is what the public want,


it sends a clear message to the offenders. We focus on the


rehabilitation. The vast majority of crime. You know it wouldn't have


stopped the riots? You are talking nonsense. Half of all crime in this


country, you know this as previous Lord Chancellor, is commit bid


people already through the criminal justice system, the system has


failed to deal with the offenders, we need to deal with that system.


It hasn't stopped them reoffending? How many of them had cautions where


nothing happened except a caution, how many did one offence of


shoplifting. The idea you put on to the criminal justice system the


whole responsibility for stopping the sorts of crime we saw. What


your film showed very graphicically and accurately was gang culture is


a very important part of it. What has happened since you came into


power, and since your mayor is an increase of violence. You are not


seriously saying it is a consequence of the 2010 election


are you? No, but it is a much more productive line. This is the


familiar old Labour line, it is all to do with reducing public spending,


it is pathetic in terms of dying know six and no excuse - diagnosis,


and no excuss. You need to have sharp criminal - No excuse?


need to have sharp criminal justice, and discourage people from joining


gangs. This idea that there weren't sufficient sentences in the past,


which Ken's article said and Nick has just said, seems to be nonsense.


Even if it were right, I'm not clear in my own mind what the


Government are doing to do about it. For entirely understandable reasons


the prison population is the highest it has ever been. What are


you going to do. What are you actually going to do? Firstly, I


agree with Charley to this extent, we need to look at the issues of


social exclues, exactly what Iain Duncan Smith has been talking about


today. We need to look at why it is that young people find themselves


getting into the criminal justice system in the first place. Does


that mean dealing with the gang stuff. Dealing with gangs both in


terms of...Spending Money on that? Also in terms of effective


intervention and the kind of alternative that is the mayor's


adviser was talking about. Where will the money come from? With the


prison population at its highest now. With a robust response. That


is why the sentencing was absolutely right. It was your


policy to reduce the prison population? It is the highest it


has ever been. 8 7,000 or something. August is the lowest month.


Prime Minister has made it clear sufficient prison sentences will be


provided. Is it still your policy to reduce the prison population?


is not. It was? No, the Prime Minister has made clear we will


provide sufficient places. Your rehabilitation revolution was going


to be funded out of the reduction in prison places. The right way to


reduce in the long-term is to reduce reoffending, what we are


focused on with the radical proposals to get new providers in,


and interventions and help people get off drugs. The cost of failure


is huge. You haven't the money to do it. You are spending your money


on the extra prison places? payments savings are made by the


radical programme. You should be supporting it. I would support very


strongly improved measures to reduce reoffending, but I recognise


for it to be done it involves intensive intervention that is cost


money. You are not being realistic when you are saying...Your Solution


as ever is to spend more public money. It may be there isn't the


money, but you should be straight forward about it. We have the most


expensive criminal justice system in the world. If spending more


money we would have effective criminal justice now, we don't, we


have the highest reoffending rates around. This is how well the money


is spent, how effective the interventions are, and how well it


is organised. Tell bus the changes with less money you get better -


tell us about the changes, with less money you get better results.


Swifter and insurer justice, and prison sentences, a scheme to pay


by results to reduce reoffending, capture the savings, there are


billions of pounds of cost of a failed system, if we can prevent


that we can save money, reduce reoffending and make a better


system. That is what we are talking about in social reform and penal


reform. It is an optimistic message about how to improve the system.


You have bequeathed a system with prisons full to prison, failing,


spending more money. You have said it is no longer your policy to


reduce the prison population, do you mind how big it goes? We have


said the inexorable growth in the prison population we saw under the


previous Government, when it is combined with high rates of


reoffend something a vicious circle, we need to break that. Do you mind


how high it goes, 8 7,000, where it is now, is that as high as it


should go? I want the prison population to fall in the long-term,


because it is effective at reducing reoffending. How high should it go?


We want in the long-term to see a prison population not rising. We


have not said, the Prime Minister made clear, we will provide


sufficient prison places for those that the court sentence. That


happened in the case of the riots and will continue to happen going


forward. Your wholly commendable desire to reduce reoffending will


involve greater expenditure in what goes on in prison, I'm not clear,


from what you are saying, how you fund more prison places than ever


before, and extra work in prison and more extra rehabilitation.


have a welfare-to-work programme, you can pay a provider if he gets


into work you can pay him for the success. You fund it by the person


off benefits, you have made a savings and fund the intervention.


We can have a payments by results system in the criminal justice


system, which says if you can get somebody off reoffending and help


them go straight with an effective intervention, whatever it is,


mentoring, you get them to go straight, there is a saving to the


criminal justice system because they are not incarcerated in future.


You can capture that saving, and this is why it is an exciting,


radical scheme to help reduce reoffending in the future. James


Murdoch, the News International boss who denied knowing how


widespread phone hacking was in his company, didn't tell investigating


MPs the truth, maybe he did. A former company lawyer said it was


inconceivable that Mr Murdoch was unaware how common the practice was.


Mr Murd mur responded tonight by saying - Mr Murdoch responded


tonight by saying he stood by his remark that he never saw an e-mail


relating to staff. The stakes are high, not just for Murdoch himself.


MPs have now asked thousands of questions about phone hacking. But


through the hours and hours of testimony, and the thousands of


hours of broadcasting, the central question hasn't really changed. Up


until fairly recently, News International was insisting that


phone hacking at the News of the World was confined to one rogue


reporter, Clive Goodman, the paper's royal editor, who pleaded


guilty and was jailed in 2007. However, that version of events is


categorically contradicted by an e- mail, marked "for Neville", it


shows transcript of messages left on the phone of Gordon Taylor, of


the Professional Footballers Association. Clive Goodman is not


called Neville, or as royal editor is he interested in the goings on


in the world of football. Anyone who saw the "for Neville" e-mail,


or learned of its contents, must have known that phone hacking went


far beyond just one single journalist.


The paper eventually settled with Gordon Taylor for a whopping


�425,000, plus his legal expenses. According to News of the World's


external lawyers, that was double the - News International's external


lawyers that was double the amount he could have expected if the


matter went to court. James Murdoch has signed off on the


matter, he said he did not know about the "for Neville" e-mail.


you see or were you made aware of the "for Neville" e-mail or message


transcript. No, I was not ware of that time. When James Murdoch


signed off the Taylor deal and its massive pay-off, there were two


other people in the room. Today the select committee heard from both of


them. And they both agree that they did tell James Murdoch, not only of


the "for Neville" e-mail, but of its huge significance for the


company, of which he was supposedly in charge. Tom Crone was legal


manager at newsgroup newspapers, and Zdenek Mlynar was there when


the settlement was approved. Do you regard the existence of the e-mail


as evidence that the phone hacking was k cysting beyond Clive Goodman?


That was the first evidence we had seen that it went beyond Clive


Goodman. Given it was so significant, clearly it must have


featured pretty large in your conversation with James Murdoch?


Listen, it was the reason that we had to settle the case, and in


order to settle the case, we had to explain the case to Mr Murdoch and


get his authority to settle. So, certainly, it would would have been


discussed. I cannot remember the detail of the conversation. And


there isn't a note of it. The conversation lasts for quite a


short period, less than 1547, or about 15 minutes, - 15 minutes, or


about 15 minutes, it was discussed. But exactly what was said I can't


recall. Inside the committee there was incredulity that at the same


time the pair could be so sure in their recollection of their meeting


with James Murdoch, but hazy as well. The bit I struggle with, if


you are both adamant that James Murdoch knew the full extent of


what you were telling him about the "for Neville" e-mail, the bit I


struggle with, is this meeting lasted at the absolute maximum, 15


minutes. It seems to me if you were telling James Murdoch, actually we


have got evidence here that shows that other people at News of the


World were involved in phone hacking, that's what we have got in


our brief case here. That's why we must settle this case. I can't


imagine how you could go through all of that and the implications of


that in less than 15 minutes. is my recollection of how long that


meeting would have taken. I can't speak for what Mr Murdoch


understood at the time or not. I have seen what he has said since,


I'm absolutely prepared to accept that he has his recollection wrong.


I do, and I am certain, that I explained to him that this document


had emerged and I explained what it was and why it meant that the


defence that we had lodged in the case couldn't be run any further,


we had to get out of it. Again and again, the committee attempted to


extract more clarity. Was he clear that this meant there was further


wrongdoing within the News of the World, as a result of the existence


of that document? It seemed to be clear to other people. I'm not


asking about other people, I'm asking about him. I can't speak for


Mr Murdoch's recollection of this, and I can't speak for Mr Murdoch's


view that he took away from that meeting. What I took away from that


meeting was that there was an agreement to settle, and that is


what happened. The significance is very clear, from Mr Murdoch's


testimony, he said neither Mr Crone or Mr Mlynar said there was any


wrongdoing by Mr Mulcaire, there was nothing from the meeting that


led me to believe that further investigation is necessary. He's


very clear on his recollection of the meeting and you are not.


sorry, I am clear, there was no ambiguity of the significance of


that document and what options were there for the company to take.


statement tonight, James Murdoch It seems certain now that the


committee will be recalling James Murdoch, the decision won't be


taken until next week. With us now in the studio is


Michael Wolff a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and the biographer


of Rupert Murdoch. Also here is Louise Mensch, the MP who sits on


the Culture Select Committee, and we are joined by Donald Yacktman,


President of Yacktman Asset Management Company, one of the


biggest investors in News Corp. How much trouble is James Murdoch in do


you think? Career-ending trouble. The trouble of his lifetime. I


don't think you can exaggerate how much trouble he's in. His


credibility has been virtually destroyed, and credibility is the


coin of the realm when you're running a major coopgs. So it is


over for him - Corporation. So it is over for him? It is over, but


the over may take several months. On this particular issue, he has


wriggle room, doesn't he? I think he has plenty. I think your report


there was extremely fair. We saw testimony today, as your report


said, members of the committee attempted to extract clarity, I


attempted to extract some clarity, it was made clear n my own view,


and I can't speak for the rest of the committee, that he had had


agreed to settle the case. To my mind it was not at all made clear


that he had been told definitively that wrongdoing extended beyond


Goodman and Mulcaire. All you are establishing there is the


possibility that he may stay out of jail. Anyone else looking at this


says he's a dissemabler, he's a misrepresenter, he's someone, in an


overarching way, is not fundamentally being straight, or


doesn't know what was going on. will deny several of your


accusations straight off, and they are not provable at this point?


This is matter of perception, and a matter of people who have seen this


week after week, month after month now, and you see a person who has


paid an enormous amount of money for what possible reason? This is a


matter of both perception and beyond that pure logic. As a major


investor at News Corp, what do you make of what is happening here?


makes for titilating press. But it doesn't effect...? As an investor


our thesis, it doesn't effect our thesis of investment in this


company. The basic thing we look for is a forward rate of return. If


we were to buy a company and hold it for a long period of time, what


kind of rate of return would we get. In fact, this might sound counter


intuitive, that things that come out that knock the stock price down,


we like because that means that we can buy more of it at good value


and the company is in there buying their stock back. What have you


been doing buying the stock for. You haven't kept pace even with the


SNP, this is a money-losing investment you are looking at.


Depends on what time frame you are looking at. We are very long-term


investors. You have said you're a long-term investor, if you are a


long-term investor in News Corporation, you have lost money?


No, we haven't. We have made a ton of money. We bought it two years


ago. If you had bet on the SNP, you're underwater, so on the most


basic...Not At all. Absolutely wrong, you're absolutely wrong.


Trust me, I could take over your business, because you


absolutely...He Has half a billion dollars invested in this company,


how much have you got invested in it? A lifetime of work. You are


under water, you are absolutely under water on this company if you


have held this over a long period of time. Let's broaden this out.


ought this two years ago. You have invested in a company in which you


don't have a vote. Can I finish. Hang on a second, in your judgment


is there any possibility now of James Murdoch ever taking over News


Corporation? There is no possibility of him taking this


company over. And the company itself has basically now set this


up. They don't refer to James as the heir any more. It is now Chase


Carey is the person who will have the power passed to if Washington


Post comes to worst. I think that the internal workings of News


Corporation are a matter for them. What the committee is trying to do


is establish the truth. I can speak purely only for myself, we heard an


awful lot of muddied evidence today I thought and not a lot of clarity


was brought to the table. Mr Wolff passion shows many people come to


the Murdochs with a certain agenda, my job and the committee is to see


if the previous committee was misled. You have done a fairly


terrible job on. That I would suggest that all of you people


should spend a smes ter at an American - sem mess ter at an


American legal college. That is because you see hooves coming out


of their head. I am not in any way a Murdoch antagonist. Are the


Murdochs a fit and proper people to be running a company? I want to go


back and address this other thing. If their credibility is a problem,


the person that just spoke about righting a novel, or whatever it


was. It is called a biography. Maybe it was a novel. A biography,


your credibility has just been destroyed, because if you looked at


where we bought News Corporation, and what's happened to the SNP in


the interim, you have found out we have done well above the SNP in


News Corp. You seem to have these very strong opinions and you don't


know where you are coming from. have asserted the worthwhileness of


holding shares in News Corp, what I'm wondering is how much your


commercial judgment is affected by all these things that seem to be


coming out about the way some elements of the Murdoch empire


operate? Well, again, to us this is more politics and this is a deep


bench. Mr Rupert Murdoch is the one who founded this company, and is,


if you will, the brainchild behind is. And I think Chasecarey is an


excellent - Chase Carey is an excellent executive and heir to


this. I have empathy and I'm concerned about the company, but as


far as whether James Murdoch runs it or not, I think this investment


is still going to be a very good investment.


You would be perfectly happy. have just heard a difference in the


company line, they would never have said that two months ago. Sure. Let


me clarify one thing, you would be perfectly happy as a major investor


in this company to have James Murdoch take it over, would you?


think it depends on the time frame. The overall circumstances as well.


I think that is premature, that is the board of directors' decision,


they are in a much better position to make that kind of decision. They


should exercise it. Mensch, the other contribution on the question


of the Murdoch empire today, came from the Prime Minister, your


leader, who said perhaps, he had been too close and he should


maintain distance in future. Can he realistically do that? I think he


can certainly try, and one thing that will come out of the press


inquiry in general is the closeness of politicians to the press. In our


previous committee we heard testimony from Mr Rupert Murdoch b


how close he had been to successive primes of all parties, how many


times under - prime ministers, of all parties. And how he had gone in


and out of the back door. The fact of the matter, contact between the


press, the lobby and politicians had to be maintained, but from now


on they would be logged and open. The fact there will be no more cosy


fire side chats is perhaps a good thing. The people have a right to


snow when the lead - know when the leaders are meeting press Barons,


that won't stop but it needs to be transparent. If you look at the


high street and see boarded up shops and the same dreary brands


everywhere, don't despair. You could be in Hartlepool, west port,


and west prom witch. They have the highest proportion of boarded up


shops. The Government is concerned, and has asked Mary Portas, the so-


called Queen of Shops, to investigate and come up with ideas


of bringing back life to the high street. We have been out with them.


Whoever said it is grim up north, never saw a walk about in Rotherham


by television fashionista, Mary Portas. It is brilliant, something


different. David Cameron's shops' Tsar. That said, not even her


copper bob and towering heels, could entirely distract the eye


from vacant premises and cut-price discount chains.


Pound shops are catching on here, probably not for you. Probably not


for you, either. Is that a pound jacket. What do you think of the


schmutter? Lovely. This is what I believe in, I would be doing this


despite Government. If Government support it, which I'm hoping they


will, we will be able to, hopefully, leverage this a lot quicker than if


working on your own or with councils. At this bakers in


Rotherham Town centre, they warm up snacks for office workers, they say


people prefer to go to supermarkets for the family loaf or the big shop,


other outlets have simply disappeared. There is no gents'


outlet, no toy shops, you can't entertain the kiddies for half an


hour in the toy shop. There is nothing like, that you send them


into Argos and look through a catalogue. That is not the same for


kids, they like to touch. In the shopping jargon, the foot


fall has all been going away from the high street in many farts of


the country. But analyst - parts of the country, but this analyst has


been heading in the other direction, crunching the number of shops as


they shut. As recently as two years ago, only 6% of shops on Britain's


high streets were disuse the. Now more than 14% - disused, now more


than 14% of them are. That is 39,000. The reality that comes out


of this, is we have permanent change here, and some of the


centres that are right up in the high, one in three shops being


vacant, will never go back to what they used to be. Therefore, there


has to be some kind of change of use, or purpose for that centre.


some towns, well over a quarter of shops are idle and shut up.


Newsnight has discovered that the six places with the biggest


Even very respected people are saying get rid of the high street,


it is finished, it is out of town? I think there are some towns, I


don't think it is finished, that is ridiculous, we have towns where it


is working. There are towns where it is dead, the horse has bolted.


Just give up on those? Give up. There are some towns we can look at


a rejuvenation, whether that is housing or looking how to change


some of the towns. That has to be done, it is bonkers to say we can


do them all, we won't be able to. There are many towns that have


great potential to do that. It is looking at what that new business


model will be, and looking at how consumers have changed. This is the


severed foot there. �2.99, fantastic for the kids. What


whether they go for? An arm and a leg! Yes, more delicate retailers


may recoil in terror. But pile them high and sell them cheap are rising


from the tomb of the high street as we knew and loved it. The low-


budget shops, which are opening as others go dark, course well on


price and convenience. But they claim they can only operate at


bargain basement wage levels. pay the minimum wage, and then


obviously the staff, the supervisors and the managers are


obviously on more money, yeah. that fair and ethical, are you


making profits on the back of your workers? Absolutely not, we are


here and trading at the absolute minimum on the profit margins. The


profit margins are very inthis. You are right in what you said earlier,


it is stack it high and sell it cheap, that is the only way we


could do it. You couldn't afford to pay them more? The model wouldn't


work. But on the stay the Shops' Tsar


came to town, we found innovative thinking in Rotherham. Council


workers tried to brighten the centre by getting rid of chewing


gum. It changed the it into a crime scene out of an old detective


movie! Remember the numbers that come back. After this shoe


shopowner was refused a loan by the banks to expand his business, the


borough council are thinking of stepping in to act as guarantor.


They wanted to buy the buildings themself, when the new Government


came in, they said draw a line under that, we stepped in to try it,


they have been very supportive, they will be guarantors against a


mortgage for us. We won't get the money, we have to pay every penny


back, they will be behind us assuring the lender we will repay.


Do you want Mary to buy a pair of boots while she's here? She can


have a pair if she likes. Is that Newsnight, ever sophisticated. What


is curious about the Shops' Tsar, including the ministers who


recruited her, is she believes shops aren't necessarily the answer.


I don't know if I'm optimistic, I'm realistic, I will give it my best


shot in thinking what the future might be for retail in the town


centre, it might not be the mix we have seen over the last 20 years,


and we will be looking at a very different mix t might not be retail,


but social meeting places and any reason to get people back in, if we


won't we will have social problems back on our hands. We have seen


that, even with the riots, if there isn't a sense of belonging. Mary


Portas says she has had no guarantees from Government that


they will implement her advice in the autumn, when she offers the


high street her brand of retail therapy.


Rodney Fitch has styled many of Britain's most famous shop fronts,


including Top Shop, and Phillip Blond, a self-styled red story is


the founder and director of the - red story is the founder and


director of the think-tank, ResPublica. What preserve of the


Government is it to try to preserve the high street? It is up to the


Government to represent the interests of the people. Very


clearly an overwhelming majority of people in this country care very


deeply about their high street, the mix of t and what's happening to it.


In that case, why don't they shop there? You have hit on one of the


issues. What I think is interesting is people can want one thing and do


another. What is really interesting is if we look at what is happening


to the town centres, there is three factors, there are, genuinely,


uncompetitive practices going on, by for instance, supermarkets and


out of town developments. There are supsidies to that business model,


and small shops and local shops have to get their act together a


lot are awful. We need a new way of delivering local retail. You would


agree, as a member of this society, that it is better that we have


healthy high streets than unhealthy high streets, presumably? I would


agree we have, it is better we have healthy shopping, rather than


necessarily healthy high streets. I think I agri with Mary, and that


little film - agree with Mary and the film, there are some high


street that is are very good, other high streets are very poor. The


people deserve better. It is already talking about Government


intervention and they should do this and that. But the people


choose. You don't live by shopping alone? More or less it is the


purpose of life, more or less. It is a huge economic driver, it is


what people like to do. I know of a study going on for 15 years, across


19 countries, and at no time in any year has shopping been out of the


top four things that people want to do. And you don't give a monkeys if


people are going off to out-of-town shopping centres, where they see


all the same sorts of shops as they would see anywhere else and the


heart of their town dies? That isn't true. They go to these


places...I'm Asking if you care or not? I care about people shopping


well, I care about that very much. They will find, people find better


shopping in places other than traditional high streets. I think


it is not the people needing to stop shopping, they can shop


differently. The ways of shopping differently is changing the way in


which we sell goods and the way in which we buy goods. But if we stay


as we are, let's be clear, we will have a shopping centre just full of


cloned stores, charity shops and pound shops, and nobody, in my view,


in this country, wants that. So we need to do something to change the


game. He does? He has a vested interest in that, also it is an


interesting comment to make. But I think in his hearts of hearts he


doesn't believe that. I bet where he chooses to live he won't select


to live near a town which has that dead centre. Apart from hoping


people will have some conversion to shopping on the high street, and


high street retailers sharpen their act up. Have you other ideas what


to do with high streets? You can remove the subsidies that the


present model, one of those supsidies is rate relief on car


parking. That see sengsly in town retailing - that is paying rates on


parking spaces in the town and the out of town doesn't. The Localism


Bill Hasselhoff moved to allow town centres to be free not to charge


and open up car - the loyalism bill has moved to allow town centres to


be free from rates for packing. local authorities make it difficult


for them to use the high street, and if the Government is to be an


interventionist Government, which I personally worry about, they should


be trying to join up the dots, rather than just...They Already


have, in the last few days the Government has shown very clearly


it has removed the restrictions on car parking, so from now on, town


centres will be free to do whatever they want in respect of car parks.


Also, what is interesting, is the Government has, once again,


reasserted the priority of in-town development. For new development it


has doubled the period of time in which the assessment for


sustainability takes place. So I think there are things we can do.


It is not inevitable. It sound like King Kantue? It is not, already we


have very successful town centres, Mary has spoken about things do -


doing well. She has also conceded some will go under? Town centres


can be different, they can be a way to bring theatre and leisure to


people. New ways to make town centres exciting places. Unless


local retail gets its act together. We have small shopkeepers operating


in ways that don't help the whole area, we need to get them to


operate as an area to change the mix of their area and open it up to


new entrants. We really shouldn't think about some kind of romantic


high street of the past with the local butcher and the local baker,


et cetera. What would you use it for? What would you use the high


street for. Mary gave something of an indication. There is so much


innovation in the retail business and technology, it is the most


dynamic of industries, retail will find its own level. What to do with


the high street. What it won't do is put back poor quality bakers,


poor quality butchers because the people won't go there. They won't


use it. But it is false choice, nobody is arguing for that.


Everybody wants to have high- quality, local retail there is lots


of measures you can do to generate. That you can remove the supsidies


of a model that destroys town centres and put in innovative new


practices to change the mix but renew our cities and towns.


Tomorrow morning's front pages now. The Guardian says James Murdoch


will be recalled, although the decision has not yet been taken by


the media select committee, it That's it for tonight. The Rugby


World Cup begins on Friday, in New Zealand on every corner of every


street and shopping mall, flash mobs of Kiwi youth are gathering to


Hello there, pretty windy outside. The winds dropping further through


the early hours. Tomorrow will be breezy but not as strong, the wind,


not as gusty as it was during Tuesday. There will be a lot of


showers, mostly focused across western Scotland and North West


England. To the east of the Pennine, one or two getting through, a good


chance of staying dry. A dryer day across East Anglia, not many


showers here, and there should, at times, be sunshine coming through.


After a bright start it will cloud over in the south west. A few


showers could drift by on the breeze, overall a dryer day on


Tuesday, as it will be in South Wales. Northern parts of Wales will


see fairly frequent showers blown in on a strong wind t will be a


windy day across Northern Ireland. Not much sunshine here, cloudy with


frequent showers. The showers will pepper western Scotland as well.


Not too many getting to the north- east a good chance of sunshine for


the likes of Aberdeenshire. It will feel cool wherever you are because


of the strength of the wind. By Thursday the winds are easing,


across Scotland it is looking like a dryer day with a better chance of


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